‘Critical Process Died’ in Windows 10: Fix this Error
BSOD errors are some of the most annoying errors in Windows. Various factors can trigger BSOD errors, including hardware and software issues. In this article, we’re going to talk about the BSOD issues caused by the ‘Critical process died’ error in Windows 10. So, if you’re facing this issue, follow the troubleshooting steps listed in this article to fix the problem.
The “Critical process died” issue is basically caused when a critical component of Windows detects that data has been modified, when it should not have been. This element could be a bad driver, a memory error, etc. Most of the times, this error occurs all of a sudden when users are working on their PCs. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to fix this issue.
How to Fix “Critical Process Died” Error in Windows 10
There are many instances where this error may occur. This troubleshooting guide will show you how to fix this annoying issue in the following instances:
- Critical Process Died after update — this error occurs shortly after users installed the latest Windows updates on their PCs or upgraded their OS.
I own a Lenovo S-510p laptop. I recently tried upgrading to Windows 10. I am currently using the Windows 8.1 – 64 Bit.
The Download finished fully and installation started, but at around 55% of installation, the system crashed due to a Critical Process Died Error.
- Critical Process Died after sleep — sometimes, this error occurs when users wake their PCs from sleep. Instead of being able to resume work, they can’t actually use their devices.
Every time I wake up my computer, I get a BSOD saying that a CRITICAL PROCESS DIED
- Critical Process Died after login — some users may be able to type their username and password in order to login, but after 30 seconds, the screen goes blue and this error code appears.
- Critical Process Died after installing the Creators Update — this error did not affect many users when they upgraded to the Anniversary Update. On the other hand, thousands of users encountered this problem after upgrading to the Creators Update.
- Critical Process Died while gaming — if you’re a gamer, you must be familiar with this error. It affects gamers quite frequently.
Been running my comp that I bought and seem to get an issue during gaming. The screen goes blue and comes up with the error of CRITICAL PROCESS DIED. It happens when I am gaming only and never at any other time.
- Critical Process Died Windows 10 loop — this error may sometimes trigger reboot loops, preventing users from actually using their PCs.
Issue: 60 min loop. everything runs fine but I get the CRITICAL PROCESS DIED message on a blue screen and the system reboots. always 60 mins after the previous reboot.
- Critical Process Died Unexpected Store Exception — the Unexpected Store Exception error occurs quite rarely, but nevertheless it’s a severe issue, as this user reports:
BSOD unexpected store exception – critical process died
Hi, i’ve got 2 BSOD errors since i upgraded to 10. Before that my notebook was fine without a crash. I can’t work and is extremely frustrating to use it.
- Critical Process Died after overclock — if you decide to overclock your PC to enhance gaming performance, you should also know that this change may triggered BDoD issues.
- Critical Process Died on startup — users report that this problem may also occur the very moment they boot up their computer. A few seconds after they press the power button, the error code appears on the screen. This usually happens before the log in box appears.
- Critical Process Died Surface Pro 4 — this error affects Surface devices as well. However, judging by user reports, it appears that it’s prevalent for Surface Pro 4 devices.
- Critical Process Died Server 2012 r2 — if you recently got this error message on Windows Server 2012 R2, you’re not the only. Here’s how one user describes this issue:
I am running Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (Server Core) on three servers. […] A few weeks ago one of the systems seemed to be rebooting regularly. After connecting a monitor I saw a BSOD with a message “Critical Process Died.” I’m not 100% certain of this, but these BSOD reboot problems seemed to have started shortly after getting a recent automatic update(s)?
- Critical Process Died Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell — this error affects all devices, irrespective of manufacturer. However, it appears that it occurs quite rarely on HP computers.
We hope that the following troubleshooting steps will prove useful in most of the cases listed above, if not all.
note – more solutions below this video
Quick solution to fix various PC errors
- Step 1: Download this PC Scan & Repair tool
- Step 2: Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing BSOD errors in Windows 10
- Step 3: Click “Start Repair” to fix all issues.
Solution 1 – Run a SFC scan
Running a SFC scan is one of the most cliché solutions for Windows-related problems, but unfortunately it doesn’t always get the job done. However, in this case, it may actually be helpful, because it repairs system files. Corrupted or changed system files are exactly the cause of our problem. If you’re not sure how to run a SFC scan, do the following:
- Right-click on the Start Menu button, and choose Command Prompt (Admin)
- Enter the following line, and press enter: sfc/scannow
- Wait for the process to finish (it will take a few minutes)
- Restart your computer.
See if the ‘Critical process died’ error still causes BSODs. If not, you’re good to go. If BSODs still occur, try some of the following solutions.
Solution 2 – Run a full system antivirus scan
If running an SFC scan didn’t help, launch your antivirus and run a full system scan on your computer in order to detect and remove malware. You can use Windows’ built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or third-party antivirus solutions.
Here’s how to run a full system scan on Windows 10 Creators Update:
- Go to Start > type ‘defender’ > double click Windows Defender to launch the tool
- In the left-hand pane, select the shield icon
- In the new window, click the Advanced scan option
- Check the full scan option to launch a full system malware scan.
Alternatively, we strongly suggest you check out some of the best antivirus software for your Windows PC and install them on your computer. Some third-party antivirus programs such as Panda, BullGuard, BitDefender, Malwarebytes, are ideal for virus removal.
Solution 3 – Uninstall the latest updates
Some users found out that the latest Windows 10 updates actually trigger this problem. This could be a serious issue, since Windows 10 is ‘all about updates,’ and some updates are required for the system to run normally. But if a cumulative update is the one that’s giving you headaches, you can delete it, hide it, and you should have no problems with it anymore.
Here’s how to uninstall Windows updates:
- Go to Settings > navigate to Windows Update > select the ‘Update history’ button
- Go to Uninstall Updates
- Select the update(s) that you want to uninstall > click Uninstall
Cumulative updates consist of all previously released updates. When Microsoft releases a new cumulative update and you download it, you’ll also receive an update you had to uninstall because it caused BSODs.
Solution 4 – Download the latest driver updates
Bad drivers, or drivers that wrongly use memory could also cause the ‘Critical process died’ Windows 10 error. Head to Device Manager, and make sure that absolutely all drivers are up to date, and compatible with Windows 10. Important driver updates, like graphics card or sound card drivers, are also delivered through Windows Update.
All your drivers need to be updated, but doing it manually is very annoying, so we suggest to do it automatically. An automated updating tool will help you to avoid permanent damage to your PC caused by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.
We strongly recommend TweakBit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC. Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.
Solution 5 — Clean boot your computer
A clean boot starts Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs to eliminate software conflict that may occur when you install a program or an update or when you simply launch a program.
Here’s how to clean boot your Windows 10 computer:
- Type System Configuration in the search box > hit Enter
- On the Services tab > select the Hide all Microsoft services check box > click Disable all.
3. On the Startup tab > click on Open Task Manager.
4. On the Startup tab in Task Manager > select all items > click Disable.
5. Close the Task Manager.
6. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box >click OK > restart your computer.
Solution 6 — Check your disk for errors
On Windows 10, you can run a disk check using Command Prompt.
Start Command Prompt as administrator and type the chkdsk C: /f command followed by Enter. Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition.
As a quick reminder, if you do not use the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message that the file needs to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors. The chkdsk D: /f command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the /r parameter as well.
Solution 7 — Run DISM to fix Windows 10’s system image
- Open Command Prompt as an Administrator
- Type the following command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Hit Enter to run the command.
- Wait for it to perform the scan. The process can take up to 10 minutes to complete, sometimes even longer. If the progress bar gets stuck on 20%, don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal, you just need to be patient.
- After the DISM scan is completed, restart your computer.
In addition, you can try the following method as well.
- Mount your Windows 10 .iso file by double clicking it.
- Open Command Prompt or PowerShell as administrator.
- Check for system health by running these commands:
dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
dism /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
4. Run this command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:Sources/LimitAccess
Replace X with the drive letter where your Windows 10 ISO is mounted.
Solution 8 — Run System Restore
If the problem started recently, run System Restore. If this issue occurred after you installed new software on your computer, this tool helps you to remove recently added apps and programs.
The System Restore option allows you to restore the previous well-performing system configuration without losing any files, except for a few customizable features and settings.
Windows 10 offers a series of advanced recovery option that allows users to clean install the OS. If you’re a Windows 10 user, you can also use ‘Reset this PC’ recovery option.
We hope that this article helped you to fix the ‘Critical process died’ BSoD error. Use the comment section below to let us know which solution worked for you.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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